Photos: Prince Albert welcomes Villeneuve-Loubet into the Grimaldi fold  

prince albert villeneuve-loubet

Did you know that the ties between Monaco, its Grimaldi family and the town of Villeneuve-Loubet go back almost 700 years? 

Prince Albert II of Monaco spent Monday 12th June in the Alpes-Maritimes town of Villeneuve-Loubet, where he welcomed it into the fold of the Grimaldi Historic Sites network.  

A long history 

The ties between the Principality, its Grimaldi dynasty and Villeneuve-Loubet go back well into the Middle Ages to 1304, when Rainier I was awarded the castle there as a reward for helping save the royal fleet of Philippe Le Bel from a Flemish invasion. His son Charles and grandson Rainer II then inherited the fortress and kept it under Grimaldi influence for nearly a century. 

The connections don’t stop there. A branch of the Grimaldi family, cousins from Antibes, also found the castle and vast tracts of land in the town in their hands in 1437, when Catherine Grimaldi, daughter of Georges Grimaldi, co-lord of Antibes and Cagnes-sur-Mer, acquired it along with her husband, Pierre Lascaris.  

In more recent times, Albert I used lands in and around the town for shooting parties at the start of the 20th century.  

The newest member of the Grimaldi Historic Sites 

As part of his visit, the Prince met with Lionnel Luca, the mayor of Villeneuve-Loubet, to unveil a sign at the town’s entrance denoting its membership to the ever-growing Grimaldi Historic Sites network. The procession then led to the townhall, where speeches were given and another plaque was revealed to commemorate Prince Albert’s visit.  

As the sovereign and his retinue exited the building, the mayor is said to have announced exuberantly to those gathered, “We’re not getting married… But we have a union to celebrate!” 

From there, Prince Albert visited the Château de Vaugrenier, which dates from the 16th century, before heading back to the Principality.  

The Grimaldi Historic Sites are a network of towns and villages that are historically linked to Monaco and the Grimaldi family. The community recently celebrated its connections with a large-scale event that took place on the Rock on 10th and 11th June.

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Photo credits: Axel Bastello / Palais Princier de Monaco